Copious stitches, countless sleepless nights and over 150 hours of work later, students of Colorado State University’s Draping Design class have finally completed their mid-term projects. Taught by Kevin Kissell, a professor in the department of design and merchandising, students get a chance to learn the art of drapery by constructing full sized gowns using recycled army parachutes. The garments will be showcased at the full production CSU’s Fashion Show, Spectrum, April 6, 2018.
The process begins by pulling inspiration from World’s Global Style Network, a trend forecasting business that provides news, information and a fashion image database for the industry. Students hand draw 15-20 ideation sketches which are then critiqued by the class.
Though every student uses WGSN, they each have their own unique ideas of how to shape their design. Kayla Eckles, a junior apparel design and merchandising student at CSU, was inspired by survivalist women and just “overall badassery.” She chose dark purple and black parachutes to reflect this.
Katlin Davis, a junior in the apparel design and merchandising major at CSU, chose to include a sequin covered belt into her design. The belt took around 150 hours to complete and Davis expressed her pride and pure joy of completion: “When you finally accomplish something, the next day you’re on cloud nine,” Davis said. She chose to keep the bodice of the dress simple in order to showcase the intricacy of the sequin belt.
Students are also given the opportunity to wear their own designs down the runway. Crystal Smith, an apparel design and merchandising junior at CSU, will be modeling her own dress in the show. Smith’s favorite element of her design is the long sleeve that extends below the hemline, topped with an abstract flower that rests on the shoulder. With wire sewn into the fabric to make it stand up. Smith’s biggest challenge was bending it enough to tie the knots that resemble the flowers.
Challenged to take different approaches, Amanda Avers, a senior apparel design and merchandising major at CSU, chose to keep her design simple and elegant. Knowing she wanted to try something new and do pleats, Avers used a technique called Mme. Grès pleating on the top of her floor-length gown. She kept it versatile with long straps that can be wrapped and worn in a multitude of ways. Avers emphasized the importance of finishing off a zipper while she said she had to completely take off and re-sew the entire zipper down the skirt back on the night before it was due.
With all garments being made of recycled material, the importance of sustainable fashion is also emphasized as the students continue to learn more about fashion and the industry.
Each garment is uniquely designed, constructed and sewn by students. Many of them going the extra mile to hand dye, spray paint and add intricate detailing in order to set their garments apart. Students are encouraged to let their creativity power their work as they are shaped into designers.
The CSU Spectrum Fashion Show takes place April 6 at the Lincoln Center at 7:30 p.m. You buy tickets at lctix.com.